Grounds staff can reduce watering visits to once a week with the launch of a new range of self-watering barrier baskets this month (February). The baskets have been specifically designed to save on maintenance costs for a range of organisations including local authorities, Britain in Bloom groups, theme parks, golf clubs and businesses across the UK.
Developed and manufactured by horticultural suppliers Amberol, the ‘Water Once a Week’ barriers baskets use trademarked technology to release moisture as and when needed. This not only creates optimal growth conditions, but also reduces the need for maintenance whilst conserving water.
The barrier baskets use Amberol’s Aquafeed™ wick and matting system with a built in reservoir which holds up to 28 litres water and includes a series of capillaries. These ‘suck up’ the water, which is then evenly dispersed via an expander pad. Because the water is stored under the soil, it doesn’t evaporate, meaning that even in hot weather, displays need only be watered once a week.
“Whilst the UK has had the wettest January since records began, the Met Office is predicting that 2014 is also likely to be one the warmest,” comments Amberol’s MD, Patience Atkinson-Gregory. “Although watering isn’t an issue now, it will almost inevitably become one as the summer approaches. This means that organisations looking to reduce their maintenance costs will need to think carefully about how best to manage planting and maintaining their floral displays.”
The Water Once a Week baskets have a compost capacity of 50 litres, measuring 1.1metres long with a depth of 31cm. Made from recyclable polyethylene, the containers can be secured to railings, ledges and frontages with jubilee clip fixings. They are double-walled to maintain a more even temperature, even in extreme conditions.
The barrier baskets have been trialled at a local church in Belper, Derbyshire. Planted with small trees and a variety of winter plants, the baskets have been looked after by volunteers.
“The response to our trial baskets has been overwhelmingly positive,” adds Patience. “Local residents have commented on how the baskets really brighten up the community and the church volunteers found them really easy to manage. Because the baskets supply moisture only when needed, flowers and vegetables grow particularly well.”
Leisure facilities, councils, Britain in Bloom groups and private businesses across the UK use Amberol’s range of Water Once a Week containers which include up the pole baskets, tiered planters and their Harvester range specially designed for GYO initiatives. Based in Derbyshire, Amberol also manufacture and supply recycled street furniture and talking litter bins. For more information about Amberol’s self watering products visit www.amberol.co.uk.